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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-17-14 December 18, 2014

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-17-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2378-BWB-2014-12-17.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Jeff Foust, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Dr. Foust did a 2014 space year in review for us. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Jeff Foust back to Hotel Mars. During our 12 minute Hotel Mars segment, we talked about significant space events and missions during 2014 including the recent methane discovery on Mars, Curiosity findings, Space X & Orbital Science 2014 events, the Rosetta mission, New Horizons to Pluto, and the Dawn mission. Virgin Galactic’s accident was reviewed as was the Antares rocket motor explosion and Orbital making an agreement to get new RD 181 Russian rocket motors for Antares. Also discussed was Venus Express and recently launched Hayabusa 2 mission. Jeff provided us with updates on all of these missions and companies.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Jeff Foust through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14 December 17, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2377-BWB-2014-12-16.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: Space news projects and updates, end of the year review, looking to 2015.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a wide ranging discussion of space news, space companies, projects, programs and more.  During the first segment of our two hour seven minute show, Bob started off promoting his book on Apollo 8, “Genesis” as we are coming up on the anniversary of this famous flight orbiting the Moon on Christmas eve at a distant time in our past.  After Bob’s infomercial was complete, he did have much to say about the everlasting importance of the Apollo 8 mission.  I asked Bob for end of the year space events to keep our eyes on so we talked about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and the attempt to recover the first stage on a barge as part of the SpaceX reusability plan.  We also talked about the Russian Angara rocket test flight.  A listener asked Bob for updates on the NTSB accident investigation for Virgin Galactic.  Bob also talked about SLS (it was yet another recurrent theme throughout the program) and as predicted, he had nothing good to say about it or Orion.  BJohn emailed us to ask about nuclear propulsion.  Both Bob and I responded and while we support it, there does not seem to be a business case for it or demand for it so there is no significant push to make it happen.  Marshall called to talk about the impact of falling oil prices on the space economy.  I had much to say about this as did Bob who in the end talked about trusting capitalism, freedom, and private enterprise to do the right thing.  We also talked about the impact of falling oil prices on the Russian economy, specifically their space program.  I then brought up the interest rate risk which is a huge potential danger for the US economy.  Luis emailed in about Falcon 9 prices of $5-7 million per a January 2014 Parabolic Arc article.  Note that this was clarified early in the next segment.

In segment two, Dr. Charles Lurio called to explain more about the SpaceX launch cost referenced by Luis in the previous segment.  Charles also talked about the Orbital effort to replace the Antares  rocket motor with another Russian motor, the RD 181.  Joe emailed in a note about the compact fusion plans for Lockheed.  Bob used the opportunity to criticize the large companies, their projects, pork, you name it.  Doug emailed in about some Boeing YouTube videos which Bob completely dismissed as having zero relevancy on anything.  Bob also took some slams at Orion and the recent test flight.  Next, we talked about the new announcement about Curiosity finding methane on Mars.  Bob added more to the story and said it was a wait and see situation but ultimately we would have to there to really answer questions about it.  SLS John called and said the program of record was going forward and made the point that for private enterprise to do something in space as Bob kept talking about, there needed to be a profit motive and he doubted that existed other than for some orbital and comsat missions.  Bob disagreed leaving the door open for a private company to pursue something not previously considered, again saying he trusted in the ingenuity of the private sector.  John reported that he had modeled the Falcon Heavy and could show it would take 53 metric tons to LEO.   Bob then talked about Falcon Heavy being cheaper than SLS (planned that is) so there really was no need for SLS.  Henry emailed a question about a possible Europa mission & Bob suggested if they would kill SLS, money could be directed to the planetary science department for things like a Europa mission plus they could still reduce the NASA budget.  In his concluding comments, Bob said he was skeptical about the suborbital industry and that its time had come and gone given the emerging orbital capsules and flight plans.  He concluded saying he was looking forward to the upcoming SpaceX launch abort tests.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Bob through his website http://www.behindtheblack.com or me.

Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14 December 3, 2014

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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2367-BWB-2014-12-02.mp3

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Guest:  Matthew (Matt) Wallace.  Topics:  Mars science missions, Mars 2020, searching for lie on Mars.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Matt Wallace from our Hotel Mars program to his first appearance on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Matt talked about his early mission assignments when he first came to JPL, then his shift to the Mars program.  We also talked about how the science missions and rovers are designed, managed, and eventually flown.  I asked our guest several questions about the science missions such as how a Deimos mission might differ from a mission to the surface of Mars.  Later, a listener asked our guest about a Europa mission and how that would differ. While there are clearly differences in the missions to different destinations, the trade process, planning, team organization and such all work pretty much the same.  We did spend some time talking about a Europa mission as that mission is a favorite for many of us, our guest included Most of the Europa mission discussion was in the second segment.  Matt talked about the new science instruments that will be on board Mars 2020, plus the extensive use of heritage hardware. He also said about 70% of the original MSL & Curiosity team would be working on Mars 2020, an important fact in managing the mission, costs and assuring mission success.  Matt was asked why it was so hard to confirm microbial life on Mars now or in the past & if there was one instrument that could do that.  This proved to be a fascinating and detailed discussion so don’t miss it.  Many listener emails addressed the rover control process.  There is no real time communication with the rover so Matt explained how they send commands to the rover, how the rover processes those commands and the safeguards built into it to protect the rover from accidents, etc.  He also talked about communication windows with Earth, when antennas are pointed toward Mars, and the busy DSN.  Listener Alex asked him about the book “The Martian” and wanted to know that were an astronaut stuck on Mars or needing some sort of emergency gear or something, could a defunct Mars rover be cannibalized for parts and made to work for the purpose needed by the person on Mars.  Matt’s answer might surprise you.  Several listeners wanted to know about a human Mars mission being more efficient for finding life signs than a rover.  Matt explained the trades involved. Doug emailed in a similar question during the second segment.  Matt said its not either or.  Instead, the rovers and a human mission are synergistic with one another.  As the segment ended, our guest was asked if NASA/JPL would consider partnering with a private human mission such as Mars One to use Mars One crew members for science missions.

In the second segment, we talked about other Mars rovers and mission including Maven and Insight.  Next, the question came in about Europa that was mentioned in the earlier segment.  Doug not only asked his robotic vs. human question but he sent in another question regarding the sample return mission and what methods might be used for collecting multiple samples.  He suggested a few different collection methods.  Matt said they discuss these types of options but in the end the trades opt for simpler missions for a variety of reasons.  See what you think of his answer & post your comment on the blog.  John, a high school student, sent in a note about colleges and the best path to be able to work in the space industry.  Barbara sent in a note asking if the EDL would be Seven Minutes of Terror Part 2 since they were using the same system as used for Curiosity or would it be less stressful.  Matt said they would still be nail biting all the way down.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Matt Wallace through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14 November 8, 2014

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Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2351-BWB-2014-11-07.mp3

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Guest:  Rob Manning.  Topic:  Mars Science Lab Curiosity and Rob’s new book, “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rob Manning back to the program to discuss Mars Science Lab and the Curiosity rover plus his new book,  “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please remember to purchase this book through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal as Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show for each purchase.  Instructions can be found on every blog and website archived program or you can email me.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, we started talking about landing on Mars given Rob was last on the show in November 2009 regarding his paper on the challenges in landing large payloads on Mars.  We discussed Martian EDL, the MSL landing approach, the sky crane, and more.  I asked Rob about engineering errors & what they do at JPL to not make them as opposed to car engineers where there are usually multiple car recalls from most all brands. Don’t miss what Rob said about this, it might surprise you.  Rob then mentioned several errors & mistakes that they made, including incorrectly estimating the Martian gravity at the bottom of Gale Crater which ended up impacting their landing & of course the Curiosity wheels.  I also asked Rob for his thoughts on private Mars missions being able to land a big  payload or crew on Mars.  Listen carefully, his response may again surprise you.  Later, a listener asked Rob why Mars and if we were Mars obsessed.  Rob talked about our Mars culture and the good scientific reasons for our focus on Mars.  We also talked about other solar system targets plus radiation issues for the outer planets that were not as severe for Mars.  We talked about doing more, Titan, Europa, & the NASA budget.

In the second segment, listener Claudia asked about the biggest challenges in designing Curiosity, launching it, getting it to Mars. and Martian operations.  Rob said their concerns were born out, he talked about EDL, the sky crane.  Ben wanted to know if his concerns expressed in his paper referenced earlier turned out to be valid when actually designing EDL for Curiosity. B John emailed in several questions pertaining to Earth-Mars telerobotics & a Mars sample return mission back to Earth.  Near the end of our discussion, we talked about the new Mars 2020 project and finding life on Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Rob Manning through me.

 

Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14 September 27, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2325-BWB-2014-09-26.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topic:  We discussed Rod’s latest book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.” Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed author Rod Pyle back to the show to discuss his current book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.”  Find out more about Rod and his books at his websites, http://www.rodpylebooks.net and http://www.rodpylemedia.com.  During the first segment of this 1 hour 27 minute program, Rod explained his long time interest in Mars and why he decided to write this excellent book.  I asked if NASA & JPL were cooperative with him in writing it and he said yes.  I asked him what impressed him the most about the Curiosity project and he said the Sky Crane to which he has devoted a full chapter in his book.  Rod then told us about the NASA Curiosity Mission Review Panel headed by Clive Neal at Notre Dame which suggested that mission management had enabled problems including getting a poor science return for the money and its lack of scientific focus and detail.  You can read about this review panel by visiting http://astronomyaggregator.com/exploration/nasa-panel-curiosity-planning-lacks-scientific-focus or simply Google Notre Dame Curiosity Mission Review Panel for additional panel commentary on Curiosity.  Listeners asked Rod about HSF to Mars and if after researching the mission, did he think the money spent on the project was worth it.  Rod provided some interesting budgetary comparisons and did say that he thought it was a good investment & program. He talked about the Curiosity mission goals, sedimentary rocks and Martian geology.  Future missions based on Curiosity were brought up, especially Mars 2020.  Another listener asked about using humans for Martian exploration instead of rovers.  He cited compelling financial facts between rovers and HSF which supported the use of Rovers, at least for now.  Another listener asked if he thought Curiosity was the best ever Mars mission.  His response might surprise you.  Prior to the break, he addressed a question about missions to the Martian moons.

In the second segment, Paula asked about ongoing mission operating costs and wanted to know if they were roughly equal for all the robotic missions.  Later, I asked if JPL had reviewed his manuscript. He said he sent it to them for fact checking but not content editing.  He also mentioned JPL reviewed it from an ITAR compliance perspective but did not “muzzle” anything.  A listener asked about the life expectancy of a rover team at JPL before moving on to another project or even leaving JPL.  Questions came in about SpaceX and its Mars plans, the both the SLS and F1 engine project came up for discussion.  Later, Rod said based on website hits, Pathfinder was probably the most popular of the Mars rover missions.  Another listener asked Rod to compare rovers from other nations to those built by JPL and NASA. As we were ending, he was asked about the Indian MOM mission and Maven.  His book “Curiosity” is packed with information such as we discussed plus much more in 32 chapters.  Remember, if you buy the book on Amazon, use the OGLF Amazon Portal so that Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Instructions are on all website & blog archives plus both websites or just email me.

Please post questions/comments on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Rod through his websites or me.

 

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 9-10-14 September 11, 2014

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 9-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2313-BWB-2014-09-10.mp3

Featuring Matt Wallace, Mars 2020 Deputy Program Manager

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Guests: John Batchelor, Matt Wallace, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Mars 2020 Rover program.   You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).  For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you.

 

We welcomed Matthew (Matt) Wallace, the Deputy Project Manager for Mars 2020, to discuss the Mars 2020 Rover Project and future Mars rover missions. We talked about similarities and improvements from the Curiosity rover including wheel changes.  The landing site selection process was talked about as the team now has over 50 possible landing sites to consider.  Mars 2020 will carry with it tools to search for organics and signs of past life and more.  The Mars Sample Return Mission was talked about, including a short brief on how Mars 2020 will capture and save possible sample return items.  Our guest also described in brief detail the rover’s capabilities to look for organics & signs of life with the use of a laser tool

 

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog. You can contact any of  us through .

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14 August 27, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2304-BWB-2014-08-26.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space news events and updates on a variety of current topics.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Bob Zimmerman to discuss current and hot topics happening in space at this time.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 6 minute discussion, Bob asked me about the recent Bay Area-NAPA earthquake on Sunday morning, August 24, then we switched over to space topics starting with SpaceX and the Falcon 9R test launch explosion.  Next, Bob talked about the failure of the ESA Galileo GPS launch involving the Soyuz-Arianne.  Several questions came up regarding the ESA GPS system. We also talked about other regional GPS systems.  Bob moved us to the launch failure (booster rocket) for the Air Force Hypersonic vehicle, then to the decision by Sea Launch to take a break.  Bob had much to say about the Sea Launch partnership now involving mostly Russia and the Ukraine.  Russia and the ISS came up and here Bob also had much to say, including going over the news that Russia may now be interested in extending the life of the ISS.  Bob suggested some important Russian reasons for wanting to do this, see what you think.  The Atlas RD-180 rocket engine came up for discussion as did the upcoming NASA down select for commercial crew with Dream Chaser, SpaceX, and Boeing with their CST 100.  Next up was SLS which I permitted to be discussed for a while, including a call by SLS John in Ft. Worth, then I stopped it and said that SLS was a beaten to death topic on the show and that listeners and I were sick of it.  I said no more SLS talk unless there was something new on one side or the other of the SLS issue.  At one point I even assigned SLS John a new topic to research and call in about.  Let us know with your blog comments, are you sick of SLS discussions on TSS? Do you want to keep hearing them or not?  Luis emailed in about having GPS redundancy and backup systems re the European system as an example. Bob had specific ideas about this but thought the better route would be to be able to quickly replace a lost or destroyed satellite.  As the segment neared its end, Joe asked about CST and Falcon 9/Heavy & Bob had more to say about ISS modules & Doug asked a series of questions about the benefits of extending ISS to 2028.  Don’t miss Bob’s response.

In the second segment, Joe asked about small sats taking over market share from the previous big satellites.  Bob provided an interesting short discussion on this topic.  SLS John called back about the Falcon Heavy flying and then somehow the discussion focused in on presidential candidates and their space policy in upcoming elections.  After a short non-partisan review of what Bob thought might unfold depending on which party wins in November, we moved on to Rosetta and 67 P.  Bob talked about the lander and the landing sites.  Tim called in to talk about a proposal announced for space debris tracking with Lockheed and Electro Optic Systems in Australia (see http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/august/0825-ss-electro.html).  Also discussed was nuclear propulsion, the Space Fence, then we got emails about fusion energy progress.  Near the end of the program, Bob talked about Curiosity, some of the electrical issues with using the on board drill, and of course the tire problem.  As the show was about to end, Kirk emailed about the recent Chinese ASAT test and Bob suggested we look for an end of the year Dragon abort test, another Falcon 9 flight and more flight tests, and the Rosetta landing on 67 P scheduled for November.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS Blog above.  You can email Bob through me or his address through his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.

 

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Friday, 8-15-14 August 16, 2014

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Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Friday, 8-15-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2296-BWB-2014-08-15.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin.  Topics:  Life on Mars, Viking Labeled Release Experiment & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin who was the designated Experimenter of the Viking Labeled Release Life Detection Experiment (LR) on the two NASA Viking missions in 1976.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Dr. Levin talked about his latest research and paper which was delivered at this year’s Mars Society Conference.  His paper, “MARS: Dead or Alive,” can be found on his website for download at http://www.gillevin.com.  Scroll to the bottom of the Mars Research for all his papers or use http://www.gillevin.com/Mars/Levin-Straat_Mars_Society_Paper_8-8-14.pdf.  I asked Dr. Levin about criticisms to the findings published in his paper and he said the controversies centered around liquid water being on mars and for fossil references.  Gil also talked about the difficulty in getting NASA information on Mars mission experiments and his use of the Freedom of Information Act.  He also told us stories of his efforts to propose Mars life detection experiments with other national space agencies.  His theory as expressed in his latest paper is that there are microorganisms on Mars with a similar biochemistry in water similar to what is on Earth.  We received lots of email questions from listeners ranging to questioning the significance for us here on Earth in confirming microbial life on Mars, to the impact in our science, academic and religious communities.  One interesting email came from Joe in Denver asking if Gil was maybe too close to his own research thus possibly skewing his objectivity. Gil brought this up near the end of the second segment as well but listen to how he responded and the challenge he put out to listeners and others interested in this issue.  You decide if you think he is too close to life detection on Mars to be an objective scientist.  Near the end of the first segment, Doug emailed in wanting to know if microbes in the rocks could be imaged by a microscope instrument on a rover.  He was not satisfied with Gil’s response so he asked it again as we started the second segment.  Before we ended the first segment, we talked about possible reasons why some life detection experiments that could be done by Curiosity had not been done or at least not reported on were they done.

In the second segment, aside from Doug’s modified repeat question about microscope image detection, Gil talked about the newer LR analysis using complexity analysis by a scientist at Sienna University. He also mentioned updated analysis by Dr. Joe Miller at USC.  Another listener again asked about challenges to his Mars Society paper and Gil listed the three mail areas of challenge for us to consider.  BJohn from Sweden asked a series of questions about a Mars sample return mission and the risks of bringing a Mars sample back to Earth or using an orbiting station or the Moon to evaluate it due to the possibility of risk to Earth. As mentioned earlier, toward the end of our program, Gil’s objectivity came up & he challenged listeners to contact him with objections to his research which he will respond to via email as he gave out his email address.  Charles Pooley called in near the end to raise ethical issues about HSF to Mars were some form of life discovered there.

If you have questions/comments, post them on TSS blog above.  You can contact Dr. Gil Levin through me, his website, or the email address he gave out during the program.

Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14 May 31, 2014

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Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2252-BWB-2014-05-30.mp3

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Guest:  Emily Lakdawalla.  Topics:  The Planetary Society, space geology, robotic & science missions, science mission budget.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Emily Lakdawalla to the program to discuss space science missions, The Planetary Society, space & outer planet geology.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Emily went over her background and how she came to have an interest in space and in particular space science and geology.  Some of our topics included the tectonics of Venus, asteroid mining, her interest in the outer planets of the solar system, and science missions either ongoing or to be conducted in the future.  I mentioned a possible Europa mission which led to a Europa discussion and Emily talking about the ESA JUICE mission (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer).  We talked about being able to cut the travel time to the outer planets for science missions and our guest mentioned the possible use of SLS to do that.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Also in this segment, we talked about upcoming comet and asteroid mission, then we switched gears to discuss robotic challenges.  Here, Emily pointed out the time lag for communications to Mars and beyond makes telerobotic control difficult at best.  We talked about having a Mars orbiter to control surface robots.  Were we doing this, the robots could be simpler as they would not need as much autonomous capabilities as they need now based on Earth communications.  Emily told us about Planetary Society projects and programs, we talked about man in the street interviews regarding space & our guest shared her experiences with us when Shuttle Endeavour came to Los Angeles.  Near the end of this long segment, Kepler came up, questions came up about Earth geology being similar to the geology of the planets, the lack of fossil fuels on other planets, then Doug called with a question about coalition building & the NASA science budget.  As the segment ended, we asked Emily about robotic exploration as compared to having a human geologist on the surface of the planet. BJohn from Sweden sent us emails about Curiosity on Mars and Venus.

In our second segment, we talked about relevant time spans and how missions get prioritized.  Emily went over the Venus challenges.  She was asked if the Planetary Society would try another Phobos-Grunt mission and we talked about their project, the Mars Microphone to bring back to Earth the sounds from Mars.  Toward the end of the program, Emily was asked about the importance of lowering launch costs for science missions and the promotion of space advocacy.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Emily through The Planetary Society or me.

Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14 May 5, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2237-BWB-2014-05-04.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topics:  We discussed our guests new book, “Innovation The NASA Way” plus our space policy, reusability & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases, including “Innovation The NASA Way,” can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rod Pyle to the show to discuss his new book, “Innovation The NASA Way: Harnessing The Power Of Your Organization For Breakthrough Success,” plus we talked about our space policy, reusability, and other issues.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute show, Mr. Pyle started by giving us an overview of his background and experiences that led him to writing this book.  Specifically, Rod led leadership training at NASA’s JSC for executives.  From this background, he used the story telling format to illustrate NASA innovation.  Each chapter tells a different story, several of which we highlighted in our discussion.  Rod mentioned innovation at various NASA centers but did say JPL stood out for him.  When asked for the most innovative NASA projects, he talked about some projects that were left on the editor’s computer including the Apollo Guidance Control Computer but he did focus on and highlight the Lunar Module.  We also talked about NASA today and back in the Apollo days. Rod had much to say about this, including how today there seems to be a push for guaranteed results which of course do not exist.  He said NASA was known by three important key words:  Boldness, Daring and Passion.  Listeners asked about reusability and I mentioned a possible reusability moment similar to the previous Apollo moment.

In the second segment, we talked about his Viking chapter & the Viking experiments.  John from Ft. Worth called in regarding a smaller shuttle plan that might have been less ambitious – would it have been better? Questions came about NewSpace and innovating the SpaceX way!  Doug called and did not think that there would be a Reusability Moment like with Apollo but that reusability enhanced prospects for that type of moment, like a manned Mars mission.  Rod was challenged with questions from the perspective that Apollo was the wrong way to go to and develop space.  We talked about his forthcoming book, “Curiosity: The Inside Story” and our excitement over a potential Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. For more information & to contact Rod, visit his website http://www.rodpylebooks.com.

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